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- Frugal Living
Reduce Your Bills Every Six Months
Motivation and Determination
Every time you pay your bills and you have not negotiated with the person you are paying you are throwing away money. Each year Americans pay billions of dollars because they are too lazy to negotiate a new deal with their cable, internet, insurance, and car payment companies. I have learned over the years that a few hours on the phone every 6 months can save me any where from $50 to $200 a month. That is as much as $2400 in whole year. If that was put in a an IRA for savings then that number goes up even more! All it takes is a little motivation to actually make the call and a little determination to get them to lower your bill.
Pick Up the Phone and Ask
Before I get into reduce my bill warfare tactics the most simple thing to do is call and ask. I know this sounds to good to be true, but sometimes companies are willing to reduce your bill for 6 months because you are a loyal customer. The easiest to deal with are cable and satellite companies. There is so much competition when it comes to your cable that they are always fighting to get and keep customers. The easiest way to get a discount is tell them you feel like you are paying to much for your current service and ask if there is anything they are willing to do. As far as insurance companies you will need to ask them if they have any discounts you are not taking advantage of. Cell phone companies can be a bit tricky and generally the call and ask method does not work. Just remember you are paying them for their service and you are the customer.
Ask for a the Right Department or Manager
If you don't get any where by calling and asking then ask if they have a customer loyalty or account specialist department. Most companies have these departments to keep customers happy. If they don't have one of these departments then ask to speak to a manager directly. You may have to hold or they may say they can't but be persistent. Most of the time when you call you are getting someone who can do very little about reducing your bill. So save your breath on this person because it probably will do you no good. The next piece of advice is absolutely crucial and goes with a saying my mom used to tell me when she made collections. You always get more bees with honey. What it means is these people are much likelier to help you if you are nice to them. I know I am much more willing to help someone if they are pleasant to me.
Threaten to Switch and Be Prepared to Do So
I was with a satellite company and the company I have my internet with would send me at least one a week with a flyer in or on my mailbox. The offers always ended up in the trash until I realized I had just received leverage to get my bill reduced. Call the company that is advertising the lower and rate and get all the details. Make sure that it is matching what you currently have or better. Thanks them and have them save your information in case you call back. Now call the company you are with and get to the correct person. I will stress again to be as nice as possible to get the person to want to help you. Tell them about the other offer you have received. Make sure they understand they are offering the exact same thing that you currently have at a cheaper price. After this most companies crack and at least give you a discount. If they are not willing to budge and you really want to save money then make the switch to the other company. Insurance is a little different because people get discounts for staying with insurance companies for a long period of time. I still always check my insurance online every six months to year to make sure I am getting the best rate. Some loan companies that have car payments will not refinance their own loans. You may have to find a loan company with a cheaper interest rate and be willing to switch. Cell phone companies have all kind of incentives to make the switch to their service. The tactics with cable and satellite companies work the same here, but they don't budge as easily. Go over your plan and see if your paying for too much service. If it is still too expensive then be prepared to jump ship.
What Else Can I Do?
The above bills are the basic bills that most people have. Some other suggestions would be to combine your home, auto, boat, motorcycle, renters, or whatever insurance you have. Combining these usually gives you a discount and the more you combine the bigger the discount. Make sure that you are not paying for things that you don't watch or don't need. Are you paying for 10 GB of data but only using 5 GB on your family plan? Are you watching all those movie channels that you have? Remember at the end of the day the goal is to have more money in your bank account at the end of the month. Keep that goal in mind and all your hard work will feel great.